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Valorization of wastewater from food industry: moving to a circular bioeconomy

A Correction to this article was published on 27 December 2021

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Wastewater from the food industry is increasingly recognized as a valuable source of energy and as a resource for new products and not as waste. The reutilization and valorization of wastewater contributes to combating water scarcity and to improve the energetic efficiency of treatment facilities. Moreover, it has the added benefit of reducing environmental impact and providing economically interesting added value products. This review discusses the most recent approaches for the valorization of food industry wastewaters of different origins (dairy, brewery, oil mill, fish, meat, among others) and the products obtained, from energetic resources such as biogas and biofuel to the recovery of biopolymers, pigments, phenolic compounds, and other added value products. A critical overview regarding the bottlenecks of large-scale implementation of resource recovery strategies, including up-scaling, quality and quantity of the effluent, legislation, and economic, environmental, and social issues related to the use of products derived from waste, is herein presented.

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This work was financed by FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., under project Beer2BioPol - PTDC/BTA-BTA/31746/2017. This work was also supported by national funds from FCT in the scope of the project UIDP/04378/2020 and UIDB/04378/2020 of the Research Unit on Applied Molecular Biosciences - UCIBIO and the project LA/P/0140/2020 of the Associate Laboratory Institute for Health and Bioeconomy - i4HB, and the project UIDB/50016/2020 of the Associate Laboratory Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - CBQF.

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Correspondence to Catarina L. Amorim.

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Costa, C.F.F.A., Amorim, C.L., Duque, A.F. et al. Valorization of wastewater from food industry: moving to a circular bioeconomy. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 21, 269–295 (2022).

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  • Wastewater
  • Valorization
  • Food industry
  • Food wastewater
  • Added value products
  • Circular economy